Cougars Host South Africans

By: Dan Hedman
By: Dan Hedman

It all started last August with a mission trip to Middleburg, South Africa... in hopes of sharing America's pastime with a foreign land. The two week trip, engineered by Lansing Catholic manager Jake Boss and his church made them baseball ambassadors to nearly 4,000 South African children, but hope the past two weeks will help reach even more.

"When they said we should come down here and learn about it, it was very overwhelming," Molefeng Shawane said.

Boss's trip was so successful, 4 South African coaches --including Shawane-- RSVP'd and came stateside - shadowing Boss and learning from the Lansing Catholic Cougars.

"They spend the mornings with me and I do as much as we can possibly teach them," Boss said, "and then they observe our practices in the afternoon."

"It is not a popular sport in our country, so we think we will make a difference through baseball," Shawane said.

And while they will take a lot of our culture home, they did bring a little of South Africa to us, like the word Schaap connected to a special greeting.
"I saw you guys had some special handshake, is that native to your country," I asked.
"We have many of those, but this was the one when coach came down there he saw, so he likes it," Shawane replied.
"Schaap," he said. "It means it's, okay it's good."
The 4 coaches are in Lansing through Saturday. is happy to provide a forum for commenting and discussion. Please respect and abide by the house rules:

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